First day of the rest of my life

First day of the rest of my life, and I cannot sleep. Actually, that sentence sums up the last five or so years of my life pretty well. But tonight – or rather, this morning – I have a good reason for not being able to sleep.

I am finally graduating.

After seven long years, I am finally graduating from Ryerson University. Final grades in what was hopefully my last semester of my undergraduate career were published very early this morning (1:15 AM) and after finding out that I’ve passed all my courses, I was just so happy that I couldn’t sleep. I am finally graduating! It feels so surreal. It seems too good to be true. I have been in school for so long, this feeling of being free, it doesn’t seem real. My graduation status on RAMSS is still stuck on “In Review – Pending final grades” but considering my final grades are all above the 2.0 GPA requirement – low expectations, I know, especially for a first generation Chinese immigrant young adult, but when you’ve been studying for your undergraduate degree for so long, grades start to not matter, and all you want is out – graduation might actually happen. I might actually be free.

I know, it sounds like I hated my time at Ryerson but that’s absolutely not true. I was so involved at extracurricular activities at Ryerson – whether that be Commerce Times, RU Student Life, TEDxRyersonU, Ryerson Marketing Association – I loved being a part of the student life there. The more I got involved, the more I appreciated what Ryerson had to offer as a community.

But, with that said, I hated that I was still there for so long. It felt like I was stuck there. Yet I know that it was entirely my fault for not studying harder in my first three years to push myself to graduate. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to get involved in extracurricular activities in my first year – Twitter didn’t even exist when I first started studying at Ryerson, so we all relied on email newsletters back then – but it was more the fact that I didn’t care for my program, and I didn’t care for getting a Bachelor’s degree. Of course, a lot has changed since then. I took a year off in my second year, and came back with the aim to switch programs, even knowing I was almost done getting all the credits for my previous program (Information Technology Management). The idea was, if you’re not passionate in what you’re studying, then why study it? Why graduate with a degree that you hate, or a degree that you’ll receive by the skin of your teeth?

So flash forward some years, and here I am, finally graduating. If I were to put together a line graph documenting my grades from September 2007 until now, you’d know a pattern of slowly rising grades. I can’t say that I’m proud of myself in achieving such improvement because I know I can do better. I am an overachiever at heart, and just looking at some of the grades I received during the 2007 and 2008 semesters make me wince.

But anyhow. It’s all over. “It’s done.” “Yes, Mr. Frodo, it’s over now.” The rest of my life journey is finally beginning.

Also, about this blog, if you’ve noticed that all the previous entries are gone, it’s because I had gone and deleted them all while restarting this new blog. While there were some entries I would have liked to keep, I liked the idea of starting completely anew at a time while I’m also starting a new stage of my life. It just makes more sense. Maybe I’ll import those old blog posts later in the future, but at the moment, I think just having this first one, on this certain day will do.

P.S. That unknowing fool in the featured photo above? That’s me back in August 2007, standing in Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management building – which was still standing in its first year since being built, if I’m recalling correctly – not realizing that she would be spending an agonizingly long time to graduate. It was such a long time ago, flared jean bottoms were still fashionable.

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I stood at the bar for like, 10 minutes trying to get the attention of one of the bartenders, but he just continued to look over my head. It was packed in this pub – at least two groups of #RealMadrid fans hanging around, decked out in full gear! – so what with busy bartenders and waiters, no one gave a two-shits about this East Asian girl standing and looking helplessly at the bar. Fair enough.⁣
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Finally though, I managed to get the bartender's attention and ordered a mojito. (Also recommended on @foursquare.) The bartender yells at his co-bartender buddy, and I apparently have to wait some more for this mojito to arrive. After a bit, I'm tired of standing around, and walks over to his buddy's side of the bar and looks at him expectantly.⁣
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This guy is cuuute. The top half of his face reminds me of @oscar_emboaba – the eyebrows, the eyes, the hair. But he still takes ages to give me this damn mojito and the free plate of tapas that comes with it. The whole meal cost only €6, but I still want my food, thanks.⁣
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Anyways, after what must've been 15 minutes since walking through the door of this tapas pub, I'm finally served my food and drink. The mojito turns out to be way bigger than the #Foursquare tips said; it's about maybe 3 to 5 times the size of a normal glass of mojito in London or Toronto. The free tapas were decent, but nothing to shout about.⁣
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While I was eating and drinking though, I had to entertain myself with either my phone or the hustle bustle of the venue. That meant a lot of people watching. A lot of people watching that included the groups of local Real Madrid fans – figured that  I should leave for the stadium relatively the same time as they do – and the cute bartender.⁣
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(Continued below...)